Master penman Jake Weidmann is an amazing teacher and student. His capacity to learn and apply his knowledge becomes self-evident. He is one of twelve master penmen in the world and he is 20 years younger than the others. He gives what he is doing his heart and soul and then puts in all the hours of application to be the shining light he is. He epitomises the art of learning, the art of knowing and now the art of teaching. This video can show us how someone can be encouraged to learn and know. The bottom line is commitment.

ICT – where now?

This video is 5 years old , has great music and sums up well where we have been and how we have striven to get technology into classrooms. We have worked hard on developing 21st century learning skills. The video also points to where we need to be looking now:

We need to recognize we can no longer simply educate students to become technology users – and consumers – without also helping them learn how to become critical thinkers about technology and the social issues surrounding its use.

Cynthia L. Selfe

It’s about finding the right tool for the job, looking at what is appropriate and not appropriate in terms of apps and software, looking for the most effective way or ways of presenting information or gathering information. Students are surrounded by technology out of school. As teachers we need to be aware of what is popular, what it means, what the social impact is and whether these tools can serve other purposes which would suit our educational needs. As the other Ms. Selfe quote says, we have to pay attention to technology. We have to be aware, share and dare to be different sometimes and allow that all to be peer reviewed. As teachers we need to take safe, well considered steps but if we discuss our ideas and think them through with others, there is no reason we should not try to make sound educational use of what is now a banquet of apps, software, tools and tricks. We are lucky we are connected teachers because we have the opportunity at any time of the day or night to get professional feedback and encouragement . We are never stopped, blocked or held up with what we need to do and we can validate our ideas as we have them no matter when.Our real and virtual connections mean we can be more adventurous and secure in our planning and ideas development.

One step at a time

view from the top I can’t say I have really appreciated the value and importance of doing things one step at a time so that I can complete something properly. Yes, I have broken things down and worked on bits and isn’t that what I do for my students with the Weekly Tasks Sheet because they like it better that way? I break bigger tasks down so that each week they know what to do so they can complete a packed assessment plan or a demanding project. I have seen what they can do with that. I can see that the work is better and I can see, that inspite of my best efforts , there are always a few who leave it until the last minute. When you break things into small steps then those who try and complete it quickly in a short time show up quite clearly. They can see it too and so every time you do that, you gain more students who will put the time in. In the last Christmas holidays I learnt about the Japanese notion of Kai Zen – completing something in tiny steps. I applied it to a mountain of sewing projects I had and could not believe how they were being completed and looked beautiful. I had thought each step out. I had applied myself for each step. It meant each step had more value than if I had broken it down into steps and just done it. There is a difference. Start here, go to that, do this bit, do that bit. It is not the same as starting, thinking that start up well and then, as you are working on that knowing what the next step is. You then focus on the next step. It is about focus, mindfulness, positive mindset and the whole project is much better thought out. I am using this approach to complete a video for Flipped Learning. I enjoyed finding the pictures, then the videos. I realised as I was setting them up in the timeline of my video programme I could use Elevator App to do some transitioning in the video. I have yet to do that, but I’ll do that one film clip at a time. 100% focus. I have  to decide as well  about whether I use voice overs or music or both. As you work in a Kai Zen way you appreciate each element of a project and that it has its own value. You then also understand the value of chunking work, breaking assignments down and packaging work in a way so that the elements of a task have their own vital importance as you build a whole.